TALLINN – About 30 employees of the Citizenship and Migration Board equipped with guns, saps and handcuffs will start hunting illegal immigrants from this autumn on.
The deportation center in Harku, near Tallinn, will be expanded in order to host a maximum of 40 detainees instead of the present six, the daily Eesti Paevaleht reported.
The so-called migration police will be similar to analogous units operating in other countries, according to the Ministry of Interior.
Stricter control over migration policy and illegal immigrants is a part of the development plan of the Citizenship and Migration Board for the coming years.
Heiki Kirotar, spokesman for the board, said migration police personnel will be based in the regional centers – Tallinn, Johvi, Tartu and Parnu – and may be rotated according to the workload. Part of the new unit members will be hired and some will come from the Citizenship and Migration Board.
According to the board, 51 individuals, mostly from the former Soviet Union republics, were deported from Estonia for breaking the immigration or visa regulations, and this year this number will likely increase.
Kirotar said the usual method of operations is to control residence or work areas of known for having many foreigners.
He added that most of the illegal immigrants come to Estonia with a valid visa and then decide to stay here for good. This is why the Citizenship and Migration Board continuously warns residents about the dangers of inviting people they barely know into the country. According to the new legislation, the person who invites is also responsible for covering expenses of deporting the invited individual.